Category: lunch

lemon curd

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On the weekend I made lemon curd!! I’m pretty proud of it.  I thought it was going to be really hard. But, It wasn’t at all.

Saturday morning I woke up early (this is my favorite time to watch movies, cause I can watch anything I feel like, and do not have to compromise on my picks!) . This morning it was Frances (1982) which was recommended to me by my manager at work. It was amazing!! Jessica Lange is incredible (it took me half the movie to get a grip on just how stunning she actually is), the story is heartbreaking. I’m happy Chris was still fast asleep as I turned it off (with tear stained cheeks) at the end. I’m a total sucker, I cry watching movies all the time lol.

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I was excited to get breakfast started and figured Chris would be awake soon so I started on the lemon curd. I figured it would be the hardest part of our breakfast. I had seen a recipe for “Cornmeal Pancakes and Lemon Curd” on Naturally Ella and really wanted to try it. I made my pancakes EXACTLY like her’s. They were delicious. The lemon curd recipe she had was from Cookie&Kate….I made mine a little different, but the instructions are the same! It’s super easy to do, I can’t wait to use it on all sorts of stuff! I still have most of the jar.

 

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Lemon Curd:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup fresh  lemon juice
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a  bowl, cream the butter and syrup until fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs slowly.
  3. Pour in juice, and pour the mixture into a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan.
  4. On medium/low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Pour into a glass jar and let it cool and store the curd in the refrigerator.

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creamy dressing

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So everyone seems to have an opinion on Gwyneth Paltrow and her blog (which I actually really like), her marriage…pretty much her life in general. I always kinda liked her (remember when she dated Brad Pitt!?!?). She always seems happy in interviews, pretty in magazines. She’s also been in some of my favorite movies (Royal Tenenbaums, Great Expectations!) Anyways, inspired by all the Paltrow hollywood gossip lately, I decided to crack open her (newest) cookbook “It’s All Good”  (a gift from my parents).

salad dressing2We’ve been trying a bunch of different stuff from the book the past couple weeks. So far everything has been delicious!! MY FAVORITE so far being this salad dressing. It’s super simple and so freaking good!! Please give it a try….regardless of your feelings about Ms. Paltrow.

 

It’s All Good; Gwyenth Paltrow & Julia Turshen (p.61)

INGREDIENTS:

3 T white wine vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup organic Vegenaise

3 T water

½ tsp coarse sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

**Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe, she added a handful of parsley which is also amazing!**

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely pureed. Keeps well in a jar with a fitted lid for up to one week.

 

 

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a birthday party

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I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday with my favorite people!  Saturday afternoon we hosted a wonderful potluck with some of the most delicious food! Chris made my favorite ribs on the BBQ, My bestie Nic  (ibbyandpop) brought her delicious quiche (hopefully she’ll post the recipe on her beautiful blog), We had salads; chickpea, caesar, and cabbage. Homemade mac’n cheese, awesome mini baked potatoes and a HUGE spread of meats and cheeses, banana cupcakes and of course beer and wine for all. This year we choose to include EVERYONE that meant even our new little friends. We stuffed a pinata with candy (for us) toys, stickers and gold star confetti!  It was one of the most special birthdays I have ever had. I can not thank everyone enough for coming and sharing the day with me.

Thank you, Chris for capturing it and making another incredible video for me! I love you!

 

 

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Beautiful photo’s of the party and lots of amazing recipes and stunning photo’s check-out: www.ibbyandpop.com

 

oat yogurt scones

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I had a whole list of things I wanted to do today. I can honestly say that this scone project was the only thing I ended up getting done. I woke up with a splitting headache. Unable to barely move I whined and cried till past noon. Finally, after a couple tylenol I was functional enough to make some scones and a small blog post. Homework and taking Wyatt for a walk will have to wait a little longer. The scones were nice, a little too dry but, with a large cup of fresh coffee, a little butter and fresh strawberries they ended up pretty good!

Ok, well guess it’s time to tackle a little homework.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups  cake flour flour extra for dusting surface
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup  rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon (+) full-fat yogurt
  • 1 egg, beaten (for glaze)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). line baking sheet with un-buttered parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. With your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients (until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs).
  4. In a small dish, combine the milk and syrup, then add these ingredients to the butter-flour mixture.
  5. By hand, bring everything together and add yogurt a tablespoon at a time until it forms a soft dough. If it feels too dry, add a little more yogurt (dough should not be sticky).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough out until it is approx 2 inches tall. Using a  cutter (or a small cup), cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared tray so that they almost touch. Glaze the tops with beaten egg
  7. Bake for 20-25min

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baba ghanoush

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I was up till 2am working on homework…that I’m still no where near finished with. We are currently working on color theory and that seems to also include watercolor. I have to make 2 colour charts and render a fashion illustration using 2 of the “water colour techniques” listed in the assignment hand out. I’m HORRIBLE with water colour. Thankfully Chris joined me at our dining room table, sketching away and testing out his new brushes he got a couple months ago. We blasted music and chatted away….this could be a contributing factor for why I don’t have as much done as I had hoped to.

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Tired from yesterday and overwhelmed with how much work I still have to do, I thought I would blog (procrastinate) a little. I saw the William-Sonoma recipe for Baba Ghanoush and thought I would give it a try.  They use the BBQ to char the eggplant…we did not. Our grill is pretty much frozen shut and there was no way I was going outside if I didn’t have to ( I HATE being cold). I looked up the directions for the oven, but used the ingredients and recipe directions from the William-Sonoma. We chopped up some vegetables, grabbed a handful of crackers and I toasted up some sweet potato slices in the hot oven.

I can’t wait till summer to use the BBQ we will definitely try it again!

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INGREDIENTS:  (WILLIAM-SONOMA, OVEN DIRECTIONS AT BOTTOM)

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • Large pinch of ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. Preheat an oven to 375°F.Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.

Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.

Serve at room temperature.
 
OVEN DIRECTIONS:
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and turn broiler on (high heat). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place eggplants onto the baking sheet and prick in several places using a fork. This helps steam escape while the eggplants roast.
  • Broil eggplants 2 minutes on all sides. The skin will darken a little and begin to smell smoky, adding lots of flavor to the dip.
  • Turn broiler off, but do not remove eggplants from the oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Roast eggplants 25 to 30 minutes, or until very soft. Cool 10 to 15 minutes until easily handled.
 
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ramen

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This is by no means a traditional Ramen recipe. But, we’ve been craving it since marathoning through ‘Mind of a Chef’ with David Chang a few weeks ago. Chris came home the other day with a selection of Ramen options so we couldn’t wait to get started. We made an amazing pork broth with perfectly cooked noodles and filled the bowl with chopped green onion, soft boiled egg, nori and pork belly.

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INGREDENTS:

  • pork belly
  • vegetable stock
  • 1 large carrot (rough chopped in large pieces)
  • 1 large onion (rough chopped in large pieces)
  • soy sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • fish sauce
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • ramen noodles
  • egg (soft boiled)
  • green onion (diced)
  • nori

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Sear pork belly on all sides and then add to soup pot.
  2. Add vegetables and vegetable stock to pot. Simmer until it’s reduced by a quarter. *
  3. Strain vegetables and pork belly out of broth and return broth to stove to keep warm until fixings are ready.
  4. Cut off fat from pork belly, shred meat and set aside (now is a great time to start boiling eggs  for perfect soft boiled egg look  HERE )
  5. Season broth with fish sauce (a little goes a long way), hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. cook ramen noodles as directed on package
  7. In soup bowl arrange noodles on the bottom, top with shredded pork belly, small piece of nori, green onion. Then fill bowl up with soup broth. gently add soft boiled egg (remove shell and cut in half).

*Sometimes, depending on just how fatty your pork belly  is,  you may find that pork fat has risen to top of the simmering broth. Lightly skim top of the soup to remove. This will help create a more clear broth.

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stuffed acorn

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Chris and I both had a long day (Chris was in long meetings and I had a stupid work computer full of nasty viruses) . I knew he was going to be home a little later then me and I thought I would try to make something a little more special for him (then defrosted soup, which is usually what we grab after a long day). I had just seen a great recipe in a magazine and couldn’t wait to try it. Missing a few things and substituting quite a bit.  It took a really long time…much longer then I thought. However, I did get it all together just in time! With the table set and our last candle lit, Chris walked in with a huge grin”Dinner smells amazing!”.

I grinned, very proud of all my effort.

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I am so happy it turned out as amazing as it did! We may not have had a great day…But, we had an awesome evening!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Acorn Squash (cut lengthwise, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 apple
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 shredded Gruyere cheese (or as much as you like)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of organic dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 (220c). Rub squash flesh with 1tbsp of coconut oil and place flesh side down on a paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30min (or until flesh is easily pierced with a fork)

Meanwhile, get your quinoa cooking (I used our rice cooker…I find its easier for me, I hate having the stove full of pots and pans. I get easily distracted and over whelmed…and by “full” I mean more then 1)

Heat some coconut oil  in a pan and slowly caramelize the chopped onion (this takes forever!!)

In a large bowl add cooked quinoa and caramelized onion. Using the same pan (no need to mess up more dishes) add chopped apple and garlic stir frequently, until the garlic is cooked (not browned!). Add apple and garlic to bowl mix together and add chopped nuts and cranberries. I then added 1/2 the cheese to filling mixture.

Brush the flesh of the cooked squash with maple syrup then stuff the filling into cooked squash. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and place under broiler until cheese has melted and slightly browned.

Serve, enjoy!

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Chris ended up sneaking out not long after dinner and returned with surprise MILKSHAKES! YAY!! XO

PS Sorry for the photo’s..wasn’t really planning a post tonight.